DIY Succulent Planter

img_7d2be36fec04-1Last week I decided that I wanted to bring back some plants to brighten up my dorm room. The project started with a trip to home depot to pick up some plants (I actually tagged along with my dad who needed some stuff for our house) and while we were picking up wood to make shelving, I had the grand idea to make a planter for my succulents. I’ve always been obsessed with succulents and cacti, (ie…pinterest board) so it was only a matter of time before I bought one of these. But this would have cost a fair amount at a store like Anthropologie. So why buy it when you can make it for less and get to pick out the type of wood and plants.

This succulent planter is pretty simple and you can make with whatever wood you have lying around. I just picked up a piece of birch at home depot when we got the plants. You could also skip building a wooden box and just buy one and seal it, but I like that mine is handmade.



  • 2 pieces 13×3 1/2″
  • 1 piece 13×3″
  • 2 pieces 3×3″
  • wood glue
  • clamps
  • polyurethane
  • foam brush


Glue the pieces together and let dry for several hours before sanding the corners and edges smooth.


Then use polyurethane or some other kind of sealant to seal the wood to prevent water damage. I did two coats on the outside and three on the inside. Let each coat dry for an hour and lightly sand between each coat.


To plant the succulents, add a layer of gravel to the bottom of the planter to help with drainage. (Mine has pine needles mixed in because I scraped it off of the drive way…) This step is pretty important because it keeps the succulents from sitting in water, they aren’t a fan of wet soil.


Next add a layer of activated charcoal to help prevent mold or fungus from developing. I didn’t have powdered, so I just crushed some tablets I had laying around.


The last layer is either premixed cactus potting soil or a mix of sand and potting soil or other materials that make the soil more porous. Lastly, arrange your succulents however you like. Remember that they will grow over time, so if you over crowd them, you’ll need to replant them in a couple of months. Also, if you spill soil on the plants, take a small paint brush and gently brush it off.

Now just put the box in a sunny window and water every few weeks. Unfortunately my dorm room doesn’t get much direct sunlight so I’m going to try out a grow light from amazon.

Let me know if you give this a try, or make something similar!


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